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Perry Jones talks about Heifer's role in the summit.

This September 28-29, Heifer International, the City of Little Rock and Little Rock Serves will present the 2011 Little Rock Healthy Food and Active Living Summit, hosted by Philander Smith College. Today, on the rotunda steps of Little Rock's City Hall, Mayor Mark Stodola announced Little Rock's continued commitment through the summit to focusing on increased access to affordable, nutritious foods.
The summit will bring together national and local thought leaders, including our own USA Country Program Director Perry Jones, for panels and presentations on topics like:

  • Developing and Implementing Local Food Shed Policies that will Lead to Improved Food Access;
  • Social Justice and Food Access;
  • Recruiting Full Service Grocery: Tools for Attracting Healthy Food Retail to Underserved Neighborhoods;
  • Why Breastfeeding, Baby's First Food, is a Critical Health Issue in Arkansas;
  • Why Race and Place a in Community Health; and
  • Community Organizing Strategies for Food Policy Change.
Keynote Speakers will include  Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; Deputy Director of PolicyLink Mary Lee, JD; Surgeon General for the State of Arkansas and Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH; and Tyler Norris, social entrepreneur. 
I'm excited to attend the (free!) summit, and I'm glad Heifer is joining the conversation. Though our name says "International," we must recognize the poverty in our own backyard. There are children and families in our local community and state who don't get enough healthy food to eat. Many factors contribute to this sad situation, so I think it's good we have so many voices coming to the table at the summit. Hunger and poverty are solvable problems, especially in a state as fertile as Arkansas.

Read more:
Record High Poverty Numbers in the U.S.

Poverty and Children in the United States
A Deeper Look at Child Poverty in the United States
Posts on local food

Author

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She has a master's in social work and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is married, a mother of two, and a wannabe urban farmer, raising her own chickens and killing most of her vegetable crops.